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Delaware native Chris Godwin is a Super Bowl champion after Buccaneers beat Chiefs

Martin Frank
Delaware News Journal

Chris Godwin made an impact on the very first play of the Super Bowl, catching a short pass from quarterback Tom Brady.

But really, it was a relatively quiet night for Godwin, the Middletown High School and Penn State star. That hardly mattered to Godwin, as his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 on Sunday night.

In all, Godwin caught 2 passes for 9 yards. He came into the game leading the Bucs in receiving yards in the postseason with 233 yards.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

"For me, it’s never been about production and numbers," Godwin said after the game. "Those things are all cool, but at the end of the day, I want to win, I want to be a champion. I can start off by catching the first play of the game … but for me, we’re moving the ball, we’re scoring touchdowns, and we’re putting ourselves in position to be champions.

"That’s all that matters. I’m so happy. I’m overjoyed."

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As the Buccaneers' slot receiver, Godwin is relied upon for more than just getting open and catching the ball. He's also responsible for blocking on running plays.

The Buccaneers rushed for 145 yards, led by Leonard Fournette with 89. That was just fine with Godwin.

"There are many ways to impact the game other than just catching the ball," Godwin said. "I take a lot of pride in my run-blocking and being a part of the run game … We were just clicking. It was awesome to see, awesome to be a part of."

Tight end Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes from Brady, and Antonio Brown caught another.

That, too, was fine with Godwin.

"We got so many talented guys, so many guys that can ball," Godwin said. "That’s why we’re here. We’ve got a great group of dudes that all we care about is winning. We all understand that there’s only one ball.

"Sometimes, you’ve got the hot hand, and sometimes, somebody else does. Anytime any of our guys gets a play, you can go check (the film), I’m hyped for my guys. I’m one of the first ones down there celebrating when they’re scoring touchdowns."

Chris Godwin (14) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

Godwin's parents, Rod and Lisa, and his sister Rian were at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the game. 

They saw Godwin catch a pass on the first play of the game, which went for one yard. On third down, Brady went to Godwin again, but it was a bit too far and the ball fell incomplete, and the Buccaneers punted.

In the final minute of the first half, Brady went to Godwin again, this time for 8 yards to the Buccaneers 37. The Bucs ended up scoring a touchdown on that drive for a 21-6 halftime lead.

In the second half, Godwin made an acrobatic catch along the sidelines, but he was ruled out of bounds.

Godwin, a third-round pick of the Bucs in 2017, is eligible for free agency after the season.

There was an NFL Network report Sunday morning that the Bucs are determined to keep him. It's easy to see why. Godwin was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after having 86 receptions for 1,333 yards. Godwin had 65 catches for 840 yards this season despite missing four games with various injuries.

The Bucs can keep him by either signing him to a lucrative long-term contract, or using the franchise tag on him.

If the Bucs use the franchise tag, Godwin would be guaranteed a one-year salary in the $15-17 million range.

"I’m very much aware of, I guess, all of those possibilities," Godwin said last week. "I think what I’ve done this whole season is not focusing on that. At this point, all of those things are out of my control. I do know one thing, and that’s I’m blessed with being in this position and we’re at the Super Bowl."

Godwin is one of a handful of players who grew up in Delaware to play on a Super Bowl championship team. Duron Harmon won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots over the past eight years, and Wendell Smallwood was with the Eagles when they won it in 2017.

Randy White, a defensive tackle with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s, was the MVP of the championship game in 1979. 

Paul Worrilow got there with the Falcons in 2016, and Steve Watson with the Broncos in 1986 and 1987.

"I wish I could put into words just how special this is," Godwin said. "I feel like it’s been a long four years for me ... As far as the offseason, I’m going to enjoy this. I want to be in Tampa, I love it here, and we’ll leave it at that."

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.